Vineyard Christian Academy (VCA) is an University-Model® Schools International, (UMSI), academy combining the positive aspects of home-schooling with the positive aspects of traditional schooling. UMSI uses a university-style schedule adapted to the elementary and junior high levels. Professional teachers instructing in their areas of expertise conduct classroom teaching. Students attend these classes Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. On Wednesday and Friday students are in a home based learning environment, where parents continue their instruction and supervision based on teacher provided lesson plans. Additionally, VCA is fully accredited by Christian Schools International and certified by NAUMS as a University-Model® School.
In the 1980′s Tri and Nancy Robinson were home schooling their children in preparation for going to the mission field. They lived at the time in remote mountains an hour’s drive outside of Lancaster, CA. Home schooling was a newer trend in the 80’s and the developing curriculum was boring at best. Tri was an educator in the California public school system and a teacher at heart. Each day he would come home from his classroom and hear about the frustrations his children and wife had with the curriculum they were using. Tri and Nancy knew it could be so much better.
Using his education degree and years of classroom experience, Tri started the task of looking for a more creative curriculum for his family. Nancy loved the simplicity and user-friendly material he put together for her and started sharing her new success with others. As they worked through the lessons, their experiences began to trickle-down to other homeschooling families at their church. It wasn’t long before these families, and their homeschooling friends, started asking for copies of Tri’s work. He was glad to share, and being community-minded at heart, Tri invited the families to work together with him in developing and using curriculum for all ages and subjects.
This community of homeschoolers grew and Tri, knowing there was value in a positive and engaging classroom experience, initiated conversations with these homeschooling families about coming together each week. It was then that Vineyard Christian Family School was born. The idea was simple; parents would teach their children at home on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then on Tuesday and Thursday, experienced teachers were hired to facilitate the classroom experience for the participating elementary aged children. It was a true co-op! The school became a community where classroom teachers worked cooperatively with home-school parents to provide a Christ-centered environment where life-long learners could be developed. The school flourished from its start! In 1989, Tri and Nancy’s family moved to Boise to obey the Lord’s calling, and founded Vineyard Boise. Only 3 short years later, what they had started in California came together again in their new city. Homeschooling families loved the idea of combining “the best of both worlds” for their children, and in the fall of 1993, VCFS opened its doors with just 10 children. From this beginning, VCFS became Vineyard Christian Homeschool Co-op and continued to grow. Parents were able to be the primary teachers of their children with the support of the lesson plans supplied by the VCHSC teachers while they benefitted from the added insights and experience of trained teachers.
As the years have passed, the needs of the families we serve have changed. Today, as Vineyard Christian Academy, our teachers instruct students at school three days a week and provide all lessons and pacing for the parents to guide their children in their schooling on Wednesdays and Fridays. This type of environment truly gives our students the Best of Both Worlds.